The Karen People

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Yesterday we went for an adventure. We got fed up just lying around in Mae Moei resting, and we had finished all the unfinished work that we needed to do. So we hopped on our little monster truck and decided to do some off-roading.

Everyone says the roads in Myanmar are really bad, and the new super snazzy highway that connects Yangon to Mandalay, is a four laned, overpriced airstrip that has nothing. It goes through nowhere, has no traffic, and apparently is completely useless. We’re better off breaking down on the old road, because at least there, we might run into someone that can help.

So as a warmup we took on the mud and the holes, and our baby bird flew like an angel. She tackled everything that was thrown in her way, except Pyry’s muscles. Sometimes he can be a bit rough while screwing around.

After the breaking in, our angel had started whining a little, so we decided to tighten her up before getting wet again after Songkran. We gave a good yank on every nut and bolt we could find, and the last one, one of the four bolts that keep the front wheel connected, snapped under Pyry’s humungous strength…

Luckily we had decided to do this in front of a shop that just happened to have nice people, with the right tools. In a jiffy they took out the old bolt and gave us a new one, slightly shorter, but seemed a bit harder, so I really hope size doesn’t matter. I think that as long as it’s hard and doesn’t break, it should work fine.

After tightening our nuts, we headed off into the mystery roads that even google maps have never heard of. In the end we found what didn’t know we were looking for, a beautiful valley between two luscious mounds. Every mans dream.

We asked if we could stay the night, and like usually, we were very welcomed. Suddenly there were dozens of kids running around, some throwing our knives around and others playing karate kid with our juggling clubs. Everyone was having a blast.

Once finished, we were so hungry that we bought some of the local eggs and made a Khai Jiao, Thai style omelette on our heavenly kitchen. I think the eggs came from the chicken that was continuously watching me cook, or then from one of the other hundreds that were freely running around. These village people let all life join in the fun, and by doing that, they stay healthy, with nutritious, natural, fresh, free food at all times.

Then we went to wash up in the mountain stream and were greeted by the only man who spoke english. He asked what we were doing, and instead of camping, he asked us to his home. This is when we found out that we had stumbled into a village that has been inhabited by the Karen Tribe for over a millennium.

He showed us to his home, and we chatted for hours. We asked about the Karen people, and they asked us about Finnish people. We laughed a lot and shared very similar views of many things, including the fact that they pride themselves on helping each other, without accepting money.

In the end Juho and Santin found their deepest connection, a true love they share together, Football. It goes to show, that we’re all basically the same.

Then we had dinner. I don’t know what it was, but it was kind of like a crab and fish stew with rice. They were amazed that in Finland we have to pay for our crabs, while they just pick them up from the river. Even the water tasted like proper water, because it came straight from the mountain stream with only a little filtering, though in Finland, the ground water doesn’t even need to be filtered.

Then we found out that the Karen food, compared to Thai food, uses no fish sauce, no sugar, and unlike in Finland, the small crabs are meant to be eaten with the shell on. That way they are much more nutritious, and taste really nice. It was like eating chips.

After our tummies looked like they were about to burst, we jumped on the pick up and went to look for the Songkran after party. This time we got so lost that even the locals didn’t know where we were.

We ended up coming back to the village, where they had pitched up a tivoli at the temple grounds, and enjoyed the old school film projector, and Pyry shot some stuffed rabbits for his godson.

Then it was time to sleep.

We woke up at the third call of the roosters, i.e. 5 am, the natural wake up time. It’s amazing how one rooster starts, then the next one joins in, then the next, then a dog, and soon the whole valley is echoing with life. It is simply the most natural wake up call, and it feels good.

We packed up, checked the oil, checked the water, and rolled off towards the sunrise. It was a wonderful experience.

Ta blu dòh mä, my brothers! You shall always be in our hearts.

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Songkran

Snakes keep popping up everywhere. Not a single day has passed for the last week or two where someone hasn’t mentioned them, or a picture hasn’t popped up somewhere, or someone hasn’t given us a Naga Buddha amulet.

Nagaland is calling hard, but alas, we must not hurry ourselves.

In the modern day with Facebook and Twitter, everything seems to go faster and faster. But life doesn’t. Life goes at it’s own speed and it does not bend to anyones will. We so want to leave Thailand already, and everybody else wants us to also, but life has different plans it seems. We must respect it.

Here are todays gifts from people we met and talked to.

Buddha protected by 7 Nagas. We were given 2, one each
Photo: Pyry Kääriä

 

Buddha with a protection prayer on the back given to Juho
Photo: Juho Sarno

Photo: Pyry Kääriä

Enlightened Buddha given to Pyry
Photo: Pyry Kääriä

As well as all the niceness from the Mae Moei people, one really good thing has happened. Our tuk tuk man, Mr. Pong, may have redeemed himself and made himself one of our best assets. He managed to help get the audience with the Myanmar Embassy, and he is trying his hardest to use all of his contacts to speed up the process so we can leave.

But alas, he is only human, like all of us. We can only do our best and nothing more, though I must say, that so far what I know of the Myanmar people, they really do their best. Especially when it comes to Songkran. Most of them seem to have eyes that penetrate the soul, and they party like there’s no tomorrow, for two weeks.

We crossed the border yesterday, again, and I have to say that the old saying, ‘third time is the charm’, should be changed to, ‘first time is the charm’, so that we wouldn’t have to do everything three times. We got through no problem, but our tugboat on wheels didn’t.

The letter from the Embassy had not made it to the central government of Myanmar before Songkran, and there, the party is just too good for anyone to answer phones, so we must wait ’till the party ends.

We used our chance while in Myanmar and spent some time partying with the Myawaddyans. After getting soaked within the first ten steps we went to find some food by the river. The locals were summersaulting into the river so we decided to join them. Very nice people with very potent self made drinks.

 

Photo: Juho Sarno

Photo: Juho Sarno

 

 

Then we came back towards immigration only to be stopped by a big group of ecstatic youngsters dancing like hell and squirting water every which way. By this time the alcohol had hit, and jumping around looked like fun, so we joined in and had a blast.

 

 

Video Screenshot, Tuk Tuk Travellers

Video Screenshot, Tuk Tuk Travellers

 

Not knowing if it was 5 o’clock already we went back to immigration just incase. The border closes at 5 and we were told to return before that. We found Myanmar Immigration partying also, so we spent our last hour dancing and drinking in no-mans land with them.

 

Photo: Juho Sarno

Photo: Juho Sarno

Myanmar has taken our hearts already.

We left with huge smiles on our faces and this time, we got a phone number for one of the Immigration guys so we can call him, and make sure, that next time we will definitely get through.

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Kaksi menolippua Bangkokiin, kiitos.

Kuukausi lähtöön.

Katse kaukaisuuteen

Kuva: Vanessa Riki

 

Maaliskuussa 2013 päätettiin, että nyt on oikea hetki toteuttaa tämä unelma. Viitisen vuotta ollaan mietitty kuinka siistiä olisi ajaa tuk tuk Bangkokista Suomeen. Pyry asui teinivuotensa Bangkokissa ja Juho oli juuri tullut sieltä. Silloin oltiin molemmat päädytty sirkuskouluun ja alettiin ymmärtää terveen ravinnon merkitystä hyvinvoinnille. Jossain vaiheessa ihmeteltiin miten on mahdollista, että niin monessa ravintolassa saa niin surkeaa ruokaa hintaansa nähden. Hyvä ruoka syntyy rakkaudesta ruokaan, eikä halusta tehdä rahaa ihmisten tarpeesta syödä.

Siitä sitten loksahti. Mitä jos mennään Bangkokiin ja ostetaan se tuk tuk? Sit tuunataan siihen sellanen über-magee katukeittiö ja ajetaan se tänne! Raha hoituu sillai, että kuvataan matkan varrella TV-sarja ja myydään se joka puolelle maailmaa!!!

Ja nyt ollaan tässä. Voisi olla fiksumpikin unelma, mutta tämä on meidän. Unelmat jäävät usein vain unelmiksi. Niitä ei oteta tosissaan koska uusi pelottaa. Ei luoteta siihen että omat unelmat ovat sen arvoisia. Tämä on meille arvokasta. Tällä tavalla me haluamme jakaa hyvää mieltä ympärillemme.

Pähkäilemisen jälkeen hypättiin kohti luottamusta ja tehtiin asialle jotain. Nostettiin perseet penkistä, mentiin kapakkaan, tilattiin oluset ja mietittiin miten kaksi persaukista sirkustaiteilijaa saa tuk tukin Suomeen.

Totta helvetissä tämä pelotti! Ihminen helposti väistää vastuuta pelätessään epäonnistumista. Epäonnistuminen on kuitenkin ensimmäinen askel onnistumiseen. Tämä ollaan molemmat opittu sirkuksesta. Epäonnistumisen pelko johtaa vastuun pakoiluun. Mutta kun ottaa vastuun omasta elämästään kannettavakseen, ei tarvitse kantaa enää mitään muuta. Kaikki on omissa käsissä. Luotamme siihen, että pärjäämme tilanteessa kuin tilanteessa, vastoinkäymiset hyödynnetään ja koko matka nautitaan siitä mitä koemme. Melkoinen vastuu, melkoinen vapaus.

Tämä oli ensimmäinen iso kasvun hetki tällä matkalla. Ymmärrys siitä, että jos meillä on tahtoa tehdä tämä juttu, löydämme kyllä keinot joilla saamme sen aikaiseksi. Ymmärsimme, ettei kukaan muu tuo sitä tuk tukia Suomeen. Unelmamme ja elämämme on omissa käsissämme.

Oolrait, ajetaan tuk tuk Suomeen ja kuvataan matkalta TV-sarja, simple as that. Kahdeksan kuukautta aikaa opetella kaikki opeteltava ja tehdä kaikki mitä on tehtävä. Paitsi että me ei tiedetty mitä meidän piti oppia ja tehdä.

Kirjoitettiin pari sähköpostia ideasta tuotantoyhtiöille. Ei saatu vastauksia, eikä ihme. Joten pistettiin oma tuotantoyhtiö pystyyn. Tuli toinen havahtuminen. Sovitiin ettei koskaan jäädä odottelemaan että jotain tapahtuisi, vaan aina keksitään keinot miten saadaan tuk tukia eteenpäin. Tämän seuraksena ollaan tehty kaikki mahdollinen itse ja opittu käsittämättömän paljon.

Seuraava askel oli rahoitus. Oli turhaa hakea pankista lainaa tai houkutella sponsoreita mukaan. Pyörittiin ympyrässä kuin puolukka. Sitten se iski. Valashai tärppäsi ja vinkkasi Juholle joukkorahoituksesta. Se tuntui samantien omalta jutulta. Sitä kautta saataisiin alkupääomaa, saatais näyttöä sponsoreille ja jakelijoille ja annettaisiin monille ihmisille mahdollisuus olla mukana. Ennen kaikkea se sai meidät tekemään.

Kolmas havahtuminen. Olemme saaneet valtavasti tukea ja apua tutuilta ja tuntemattomilta. Olemme oppineet ottamaan apua vastaan ja tuntuu, että olemme tekemässä oikeaa juttua oikeaan aikaan. Teemme yhdessä monen ystävän, tutun ja tuntemattoman kanssa. Tämä on iloksemme ollut inspiriaation lähde monelle, myös itsellemme.

Kuukausi lähtöön. Meillä on sponsoreita ja yhteistyökumppaneita. Meillä on jakelu 4 maahan (heti kun opitaan kirjoittamaan jakelusopimus) ja ollaan tehty hommia 8 kuukautta. Meillä on edelleen päät pilvissä, mutta ollaan kasvatettu jalat maahan. Olemme tehneet kaiken minkä voimme niin hyvin kuin osaamme. Tuk tuk keulii eteenpäin ja me roikumme mukana. Edessä on suuri tyhjyys. Olemme suunnitelleet ja valmistautuneet, mutta seikkailu on aina seikkailu. Tyhjyydessä kaikki on mahdollista.

Tervetuloa kyytiin,

TTPojat